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Braun to play for US in World Baseball Classic

Braun to play for US in World Baseball Classic
MILWAUKEE -- National League Most Valuable Player Award runner-up Ryan Braun has committed to play for the U.S. squad in the World Baseball Classic, the Brewers outfielder told a radio audience on Monday night.

Braun, who batted .381 in six games during the 2009 Classic, told Milwaukee's 1250-AM WSSP that he had already begun preparations for this year's event.

Braun will not have to travel far from the Brewers' Spring Training base at Maryvale Baseball Park; Team USA will begin training in Phoenix on March 4 and then participate in first-round play at Arizona's Chase Field from March 7-10. 

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"I'm feeling great," Braun said. "I actually started my baseball activities a little bit earlier than I usually do, because I'm going to play in the World Baseball Classic this year. So I have to get myself prepared a little sooner, a little quicker than I usually do."

Braun was entering his second full Major League season the last time the Classic was staged in '09. Since then, he has topped 100 runs, 35 doubles, 25 home runs and 100 RBIs for four straight seasons, winning 2011 NL MVP honors in a close vote over the Dodgers' Matt Kemp. In 2012, Braun finished second to the Giants' Buster Posey.

Braun will be in Milwaukee on Jan. 27 for the team's annual "On Deck" event, a fanfest that features autograph and photo opportunities, interactive games, memorabilia sales and public forums.

For more information, visit Brewers.com/OnDeck.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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